It is not only those of us who live in and visit the Roselands who think it is special. Its outstanding qualities are recognised and formally protected by a number of national and international designations. Below is a brief description of these.
AONB: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – an area of countryside which has been designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. It is a statutory designation under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
The Roseland, along with the Fal Ria, falls almost entirely within the ‘South Coast Central’ zone of the Cornwall AONB, which extends up to St Austell Bay. “The overriding sense of the Roseland is of an extremely tranquil and well managed farmed landscape with a globally renowned, stunning coastline . . .” (Place & People – The Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan, 2016 – 2021).
SSSI: Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated by Natural England due to their fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features; has statutory protection under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
The Gerrans Bay to Camel’s Cove SSSI was notified in 1986 and comprises 140 hectares, stretching 10km along the east coast of the Roseland peninsular. This section of coastline is particularly important for its rich and diverse plant and bird life, together with features of geological and geomorphological interest.
Coastal vegetation ranges from dune communities behind the beach at Pendower, containing locally rate species, to cliff communities and cliff-top grasslands. A population of the rare Shore Dock occurs at Carne beach. The Nare Head is nationally important for its lichens, with 180 rare species recorded, and 10 rare bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) also recorded.
This part of the coast also supports a wide range of coastal breeding birds including Stonechat, Raven, Rock Pipit, Peregrine Falcon and, a recently recorded highlight, Choughs. Gull Rock supports an important seabird colony including breeding Guillemot, Kittiwake, Shag, Cormorant and Razorbill.
Special Protection Area – a European designation under the Wild Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) to safeguard the places where birds live, and to protect them from disturbance.